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Home at last!

We had found a dog and in searching the newspapers for someone looking for her, my daughter came across an ad in Craig’s list for a 7 month old lab/border mix. He was in danger of a neighbor’s aggressive dog trying to get through the fence to hurt him. We’d lost our 11 year old lab mix, Harley, to liver failure about 1 1/2 years before. We cried nearly every day since Harley’s passing but were hesitant to get another one too soon, trying to avoid imposing some high expectations on a new addition.

We felt it was finally time and decided to meet the owners. The puppy was so frightened, we had to leave and get McDonald’s plain hamburgers just to lure him close enough to get acquainted. We’re sure the family thought we would never return. We knew we couldn’t leave him with how excruciatingly scared he was of everything - he wouldn’t do well in the pound and that was his next destination, according to his current family.

At 7 months he had no shots, he didn’t know his name, he didn’t know how to fetch or play, he was afraid of everything, his tail had been broken at some point and he had never been around other dogs (that weren’t trying to kill him through a fence), cats or even humans, except for their immediate family. My daughter named him Memphis and he has grown to be one of the happiest, goofiest and most lovable dogs! He got all his shots, he knows how to play now, he adores my daughter’s Aussie/Healer mix and is fascinated with our 3 cats and everything they do. Memphis now knows what it’s like to be spoiled and loved - like every dog should be! You’re home at last, sweet boy!

Suzanne & Breanne
Sacramento, CA

Isn't she lovely...

This is Styxx; (named after the river in the Greek underworld, not the band, but no offense to the fans of the band) She was added to our fur baby brood about a year ago; We OF COURSE rescued her from a group in San Antonio; I have no idea of her background. She is a lovely lady. She is tiny, maybe 6-7 pounds, or perhaps she just seems tiny compared to her male Maine Coon and Rag Doll/Siamese brothers. What she lacks in size, she makes up for in personality. She is loving and on your lap all the time to make biscuits, but HATES being picked up. We are practicing that gently. She knows when I pick her up and then she struggles a bit, I slowly count to 3 and when I get to 3 she is released. She is starting to trust that it is ok to be picked up as she WILL be released. She seems very happy here with her people and brothers. Her dog sister died several months back at age 14. It has been lovely to have a young one around. She will never let you get lonely!

LM
Coppell, TX

My Honey Cat

4 years ago a friend of mine begged me to take in a skinny, knotted ball of fur someone had named Tawney. She had had 5 homes in 2 short years and had been tortured by other animals and left alone in a house for weeks at a time. She was terribly neurotic. I agreed to take her in and brought her home. Once in my house I did not see her for two weeks. She did not eat because the cat food I left for her went untouched. Finally one night I heard a rustling out of a top shelf in my closet. She joined me in bed and started purring. Soon she greeted me every time I entered my bedroom and she was so sweet I had to change her name to Honey Cat. For the next year the only way anyone could visit with her was if they sat on my bed and waited for her to join us. Everybody wanted to visit with her because she was so sweet and loving. A year later she would come out of the bedroom and follow me around the house but no one else ever saw her out. Soon she got to the point where she would come out of hiding to visit once she was sure the coast was clear. My grown boys nicknamed her the squirrel because she darts around the top of the furniture and the top shelves. Now, 4 years later she is a mostly normal cat. She doesn't run away when new people walk in and she spends her time in my lap or getting attention from visitors. People always comment on how very sweet she is and she loves getting petted so much she pushes her head against your hand when you stop. I'm still the only one who is allowed to pick her up and carry her but she is almost a normal cat now. She even joins me on the porch which is out in the scary world. I can't imagine my life without her.

Tina
FARMINGTON, NM

Cooper the Sick Kitten

My wife and daughter when to visit my mother-in-law in a nearby town. When they got there my mother-in-law had just gotten 3 kittens from my sister-in-law. The kittens were named by my daughter and her cousins. My daughter named one Cooper. He seemed lethargic and couldn't keep up playing with the other kittens. He didn't jump up when the others did and wanted to spend a lot of time cuddling. My daughter loved him immediately. My wife called me to explain about the kitten and how he felt warm to the touch. We decided to take him to the veterinarian. He had ear mites and an unknown source fever, which we got him antibiotics for. After his trip to the Vet my wife returned him to his brothers and sisters and came home the next day. She couldn't stop thinking about this sick little kitten. We decided to have her mother bring the kitten in for us to adopt, we were worried that its life as an outside cat wouldn't be good. She brought him in and we took him to our local veterinarian because the antibiotics did not seem to break the fever. For the next 4 months about we had many trips to the veterinarian. His fever would come down while treated but never stayed away. They tested for many scary cat illnesses. Each time it was heart breaking to hear they thought he had something potentially life threatening or not treatable. After a few months of this he seemed to recover. We had treated his symptoms but never found out what was wrong. The veterinarian has recently done a physical and neutering she discovered scaring in his lungs, but the cause is still unknown. A year later he is fully recovered and perfectly healthy.

Tim Bezaire
Edmonton, AB, Canada

Scotty & Emma

We've had Emma since she was a puppy and recently rescued Scotty from a man who is no longer able to give him the time and attention he needs. Scotty's previous owner is now a full time caregiver to his wife who developed Alzheimer's very quickly. Scotty has brought so much joy and laughter to our lives, even Emma who was getting a bit older (9 years old) is now a puppy herself again as they race up and down the hall chasing tennis balls!

Anonymous
Seattle, WA

Gentle Ben

Benny was an abused young street cat, with a hind leg broken in multiple places, when he was found by a young woman with no money and no place to keep a cat. She took him to a local vet hospital, and people pitched in. A nearby real estate office put out a “Benny box” for donations for his surgery, and a rescue group found him a foster home. After a year, though, his foster home gave up on him. At adoption events, Benny always froze in the back of his cage, trembling, and finally he was deemed “unadoptable.” When I saw an SOS on a rescue listserv, I had two elderly cats and no intention of disturbing them with a newcomer, but my heart broke.

When his original rescuer brought him over, Benny was wrapped in a towel and shaking in fear. He spent a week tunneled into a rolled-up rug, only coming out at night. Slowly, slowly, I gained his trust. Skittish but sweet, he never raised a paw or showed a claw. When my older cats passed away and I took in a litter of foster kittens, he tended to them and groomed them like a mom. Benny finally had a family.

I kept two of Benny's adored little sisters, who still snuggle with him. Benny jumps into bed with me (and them), rolls over for belly rubs and passes sunny afternoons in my tiny walled garden. He still hides from strangers and wets himself on the way to the vet, but he is otherwise a happy guy who makes my household happy. Nobody is unadoptable.

Laura
Philadelphia, PA

The Flower House kitten

This is Leeloo Lotus – who was found in an abandoned house in Detroit. The Flower House is a great art project, where a derelict home is being converted into a temporary art installation, by filling it with flowers. During one of the prep work weekends, a tiny mewing was heard coming from the wall. After a little investigating, a tiny and dirty face appeared in a hole in the wall. There was no sign of mother or any litter mates. As nobody working on the project could reasonably care for him, a call for support was put out on social media. I instantly knew I had to help, even if that was only fostering him to get his strength and size up. I already had 4 adult cats, and I’d always claimed that was my limit.

Leeloo was estimated to be about 3 weeks old, weighed less than ¾ of a pound, and needed bottle feeding for a week or two. It’s been a learning experience – I’ve lived with many cats over the years, but none so young or fragile. There have been a half dozen vet trips; he’s gone through eye infections, a bloated belly, allergies, and cat flu in just a few weeks! But now, he’s 3 months old, almost quadrupled in weight, in good health, and settling in nicely! Once he got out of quarantine in his own room, one of my adult cats completely adopted him, and now they’re pretty much inseparable.

I’m not sure if I was just deceiving myself at first, but after just a few days it was clear this was no foster – and Leeloo is happily settling into his new, permanent home. His unusual name came as his initial rescuer called him Lotus (given where he was found), and I like to name my cats after sci-fi characters - as the fifth cat, I had to go with the lead from the Fifth Element!

Jude W
Ann Arbor, MI

The Story of Sansa

I lost my pomeranian, Boo Bear, 3 days before Christmas in 2013. He was my first dog and such a love; when he passed away I felt a huge void in my life.

When I was ready, I combed through thousands of dogs in the area but they didn't seem to fit. Then I saw her...This wide eyed little puppy waiting in foster care. Her name was after a character on my favorite show, "Sansa." I felt this was meant to be.

She had been left on the side of the road in Memphis with her two brothers. She looked like a pitbull puppy so she was immediately placed on death-row and had no shot at adoption. Her foster mom saw her in the list of death-row pups and showed up at the shelter door that morning to claim her. By the time I found her on the adoption page she'd been in foster care for a month and had already learned her basic obedience commands.

I put in an application and went to see her within a couple days. When I arrived at the house I fell in love immediately. This little 20 lb bundle of energy bounded over to me, her tail wagging a mile a minute. Her bright eyes beckoned me to fall in love with her from the start. I was heart broken when I couldn't take her that day and had to wait another 2 weeks. The foster mom gave up waiting for the group to give approval and let me take her home on February 8th 2014.

She's now my baby. We know she is 50% Jack Russel. (She has the Russel Springs in her feet!) She's our resident fly catcher, cuddle bug and speed racer. I vowed when I brought her into our life that she would never know fear or pain again and in return she has given me a joy that I felt was lost forever when I lost my pom.

Jennifer Rose
Olive Branch, MS

Pandabear

It was a late October night in 2013 in Kansas when, as my daughter was leaving her job at the mall, a security guard came up to her and said he found a box of kittens abandoned in the nearly empty parking lot. Further, animal control would not be able to come until the morning. "Would she please do 'something'." The box was labeled, "Please take". She looked inside and found 4 little kittens that couldn't have been barely a month old. There was no way they would survive the frigid night and so she picked up kitten formula and headed home with them.

I knew in my heart that once they entered the house that not all of them would be leaving and I frowned at the idea of adding to our existing brood of two older 15-year old cats, one 8-year old cat, and a new pomeranian puppy. She promised to find homes for the kittens once they were stable. And she did. All but one little black female kitten . And truth be told, I didn't put up any fuss by that time.

Pandabear aka Boo-Boo Kitty became a comical companion to the puppy as well as becoming an integral part of our family. Whereas the older cats were more territorial, she crossed all boundaries fearlessly with a blissful young confidence. She is our urban jumper; flying through the house at the speed of light. She practices her hunting skills on her 'brother' dog and loves to sleep under the covers with me when all the lights are out at night time. She has a quirk of mewing at my chair when I'm at the computer which means she wants to crawl under my shirt and nap while I sit there. She also eased our grief at losing our two older cats over the ensuing 18 months.

I feel Blessed everyday for the laughter, happiness, and pure joy Panda has brought to us.

Anonymous
Overland Park, KS

Marie, the ex-neglected Siberian

Just when it was starting to get really cold, someone who my sister had class with was looking for somewhere they could “temporarily” keep their kitten for the winter. So Marie came to live in my mom’s office, at the time we thought it was only going to be for the winter.

Marie was about six months old at the time and had been living in their garage since they had gotten her. She had never been to the vet, not even after being backed into be a car, because “nothing felt/looked wrong”. When we brought her to the vet she had ear mites so bad that she should be deaf, soreness in her lower back from improper healing (where the car had hit), but otherwise a happy, somewhat healthy kitten. Needless to say they were never getting her back.

For a kitten who started her life in a garage, she was one of the most well behaved kitten ever. I had to wear a heart monitor for a month, when she was just over a year old, and she would not leave my side if I needed to phone a recording in. It turned out to be nothing, but since then she has become something of a therapy cat. If I am stressed or upset, she is there to calm me down and make me relax.

She is now a beautiful, huge Siberian, three year old cat. The sweetest cat we have ever had and though she is not a lap cat, she is a huge love bug. Although we were not looking for another cat at the time, we would not trade her for the world.

Mary Bridges
White Bear Lake, MN
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